Where Are You Placing Your Faith?

September 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Pat Hodges –

How often do we find ourselves struggling to hold onto our faith in the midst of disappointment and disillusionment? A never ending cycle for some, and depending on the severity, an open door for the enemy to come in and steal one’s joy, steal one’s vision, and rob the person of all hope. Proverbs 13:12a says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.”’

So, how do we find ourselves so easily disillusioned and discouraged from being repeatedly disappointed? Chances are we aren’t putting our faith and hope in God alone, but instead we have our faith and hope in at least one of the following: circumstances, people or problems.

We find the following promise in the Word.

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:9-13 (KJV)

Throughout my years of ministry, I have found more often than not, that we have a strong tendency to make our request known to the Lord but with all kinds of strings attached. For instance, if we’re praying for finances, we may have fixed in our mind how we want the finances to come, and subconsciously we start identifying probable sources and means. It might be wiser to take the restrictions off of God and stop trying to work out the how and totally leave it up to Him, so that He can bring the answer as He decides.

Much of the time, we find ourselves defining how the answer is going to manifest rather than truly leaving that area up to the Lord. In the above scripture we don’t see anywhere where the how is addressed. It simply says in verse 9, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

God can get the answer to us in a million and one ways, our job is to simply trust and put an end to the vicious cycle of repeated disappointment and ongoing disillusionment.

They that Wait Upon the Lord

July 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Faith

By Pat Hodges  –

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Waiting upon the Lord doesn’t mean that we’re waiting for Him to do something, but it means, in the Hebrew, to twist or bind together. It carries the connotation to wait or tarry in His presence. This waiting or tarrying in Isaiah 40:31 speaks of binding together with Him in His presence. This is when the renewing of our strength takes place.

In this hectic and chaotic world we live in, it’s all too easy to lose the sense of His presence. We can often feel overwhelmed and carried away with the cares of this world and the cares that come with our personal lives, to the point that we find ourselves not only emotionally and physically drained, but spiritually drained as well, even to the point of being spiritually bankrupt.

The promise in Isaiah 40 is a sure promise to the weak, the down trodden, the exhausted, and the bankrupt. It promises that if we will take the time to get quiet, to press in, to rid ourselves of all distraction, and just simply wait in His presence, we fill find and experience the renewal that the Word speaks of.

What we often miss is the simplicity of communing with Him. It isn’t complicated. It isn’t a formula we have to learn, and it doesn’t come by going through a bunch of motions. Man makes things hard and complicated, God makes it easy. God would much rather that we commune with Him with few words that really mean something than with many that mean very little.

So in our prayer time and the time that we spend with Him, make it quality over quantity. That what He really desires, and that’s where we really find the renewal.

Back to the Basics

May 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Pat Hodges –

The other day I was listening to Christian talk radio and a caller called in. I immediately noticed two things. First, he misquoted scripture and then he misapplied it in his conversation with the radio show host. The radio show host never challenged the caller on the misquote or challenged him on the misapplication of the scripture. I could understand this happening once, but this has happened numerous times on this radio program. The sad thing about is, the radio host claimed to be a minister of the gospel and claimed to be a pastor of a church.

In a day and age when most Christians rarely take the time to open their Bibles, let alone read them except on Sundays, we’ve learned to subsist on Bible “bytes.” A Bible “byte” is much like a sound byte. It can be easily manipulated and twisted to fit whatever we want it to say and mean.

Have you ever heard someone quoted, knowing the quote was totally twisted and taken out of context? It’s happening more and more in some media venues. That’s what can be done with a Bible byte and it seems to be happening more often than not. This is not just limited to the Bible, but it often shows up in our prayer lives to. We give God little snippets of prayer in our hurried chaotic lives. I find myself guilty of the same. God is looking for relationship, true relationship. Not a snippet of a prayer life that was once flourishing and is now withering on the vine.

Now is the time to come back to our First Love and rediscover the simplicity and joy of a prosperous devotional life and prayer life. This is the time to bring it back to the basics, and begin to rediscover who He really is, slow down a bit, and let Him really speak to our hearts, rather than wait for a sound byte from Him. Go ahead. Take the plunge of rediscovery.

Prayer: “Father, I thank you that you’re always present with me, but more than that, I thank you that you are so interested in me and my life that you honestly desire to be an integral part of it. I thank you for giving me the grace in the midst of my hurried chaotic schedule to take time out with you and for giving me a listening ear for what you have to say to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Peace Beyond Understanding

April 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Pat Hodges –

I have been listening to the news quite a bit as of late. Actually, probably too much. I’ve noticed a trend. It’s been affecting my emotions, mood, and general outlook on life.

With all the negative news that’s been flying around with what’s been taking place in our nation, the erosion of our freedoms, the lack of integrity in the political arena, the economic troubles we are facing, and everything else that’s been going on in those aforementioned areas, I realized that I’ve allowed it to compromise my peace.

In John 14:27 we read, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The peace the world gives is purely circumstantial. The peace the Lord gives is in fact an impartation of peace despite our circumstances or situations. This peace transcends what’s going on in the economic and political arenas of the world and is not subject to the natural laws of this world. This peace comes from heaven and therefore is subject only to the laws of heaven.

The law of heaven is founded upon His eternal Word. “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome” (Jeremiah 29:11 amp).

So where do we go from here?

Simple. Repent for unbelief. That’s the source of fear, unrest, or any other tag we might want to put on it, and then make the conscious decision to shift back over into His peace, which opens the door to enter into His rest.

Prayer: “Father, I repent for allowing myself to fall into unbelief concerning your Word and what Your will is for me. I make the conscious decision to shift back into your peace. Thank you for opening the door to enter into your rest where I can abide because of the work of the shed blood of your Son. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Looking Beyond The Cross

March 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Pat Hodges –

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8).

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

There comes a time in every believer’s life when there is a “cross” before us that we don’t want anything to do with. As Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane “. . . O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me . . .” I can think back over the times in my life when I’ve faced various “crosses,” begging God to eradicate the “cross” or somehow just bypass it all tog-ether. The truth of the matter is God allows us to face these crosses and to experience them from time to time. Some are short lived, while others can last for extensive periods of time. Now I don’t subscribe to the notion that every bad situation is put in our lives by God as a cross. The Word plainly states the enemy comes to us steal, kill, and destroy. There is a marked difference between a cross and the enemy just coming in to wreak devastation and chaos in our lives.

The purpose of the cross is specifically allowed to give us the opportunity to overcome and to conquer a given obstacle. The purpose is not to destroy us. There are times when God delivers us from situations and circumstances and other times He delivers us through situations and circumstances. The delivering through part is what we often seek to avoid.

I want to encourage you to start seeing what lies beyond the cross you may be facing. It makes it a whole lot easier when we can see what is beyond a cross. Your cross may be a relationship that’s going through a fiery test, or it may be a character flaw within yourself that God has allowed to remain to gain victory over or something else entirely.

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